Chesterton Tribune



Mark James Bonin passes away in Samoa

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Tofa Soifua Leatigaga

Mark James Bonin

‘A tree is known by its fruit; a man by his deeds. A good deed is never lost; he who sows courtesy reaps friendship, and he who plants kindness gathers love.’ Saint Basil.

Mark James Bonin was born in Chesterton, Indiana on 28th December 1956, and died in Samoa in the South Pacific Region on 16th January 2020, aged 63 years.

His parents were the late Robert and Patricia Bonin of Dune Acres, Indiana.

Mark is survived by his wife, Georgina Bonin, daughters, Meghan and Mishaela Bonin, and six grandchildren, as well as his sisters, Gwen and brother in-law Joe Saffa, and Sally Bonin. He attended Lake Forest Academy and graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Wisconsin in 1980, majoring in Wildlife Biology and Management. He joined the U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer program that year and was assigned to Samoa, where he went on to continue his studies and undertook numerous professional placements and assignments in Samoa and the Pacific Region for the next 40 years. Mark was a climate change warrior and promoted environmental protection right up to the end. He loved this place, its culture and especially his family and particularly his children and grandchildren, brothers and sisters, nieces and nephews. He was a devoted friend and followed the NFL and NBA all his life and championed the Chicago Bears all the way! In the words of Robert Frost--'Two roads diverged in a wood, and I, I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.' May he Rest in Love and Peace until we meet again.

We are so grateful for all the help and support provided to us by our extended family and friends as well as Mark’s associates and the Catholic Church during the last decade of his 40 years living in Samoa and the Pacific Islands. He never stopped giving his all for the protection of Samoa’s environment and the Samoan culture that he grew to love and respect so much.

Born in Chesterton, Indiana, he was indeed, far from home, but he never thought of returning for he had decided that this was where he wanted to be. Faafetai tele to all his doctors who have taken care of him over the years and especially those at the emergency ward last week when he left us, the people and organizations that gave him employment, and his numerous friends and contacts around the world and the region. Those that made him laugh and enjoyed his music and American gridiron and basketball. The good-humored bantering never stopped. Maleko, as he was fondly called, knew no rank in his friendship Š he was friendly with all and made room for all in his life. He loved his family most of all and especially our children. He worried about their future and tried to make his home environment at least, self-sufficient and climate resilient. A God-fearing man, he attended Mass on Sundays and prayed for us all. God give him peace and love.

Ua fai I le lagi folauga o le matou pele. Ua mae’a uma tiute ma galuega, ua le toe tigaina mai gasegase.

Sala Georgina Bonin, Tulepapa Meghan, MIshaela Bonin, Grandchildren ma le Aiga faanoanoa.



Posted 1/31/2020




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